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A very popular modification for MINI owners is replacing wheels and tires on their cars, whether it be to personalize their MINI or to improve performance with lighter wheels and/or wider tires.

There are quite a few factors to be considered when selecting a wheel and tire package.

Wheel ConsiderationsEdit

Bolt Pattern and CenterboreEdit

Wheels must be compatible with OEM specifications in order to fit on the hubs:

Models Bolt Pattern Centerbore
Non-Countryman 4x100 56.1
Countryman 5x120 72.5

In the case where wheels have a larger centerbore than OEM specification, centering rings must be used to prevent wheels from vibrating at higher speeds.

Offset (ET)Edit

Wheels must have an appropriate offset in order to prevent tires from rubbing on the suspension or wheel wells:

Models Offset
Non-Countryman 35 - 52
Countryman 46 - 52

Brake SizeEdit

Wheels must clear the front brake calipers.

The following lists compatibility between OEM wheels and OEM brakes on non-Countryman models:

Generation - Model Disk Size Wheels

1st - All

276

15" All

16" All

17" All

18" All

2nd - Cooper / One

280

15" All

16" All

17" All

18" All

1st - Factory GP

1st - JCW Brake Kit

2nd - Cooper S

294

16" R87

16" R94

16" R102

16" R103

16" R115

16" R119

16" R120

17" All

18" All

2nd - Factory Works

2nd - JCW Brake Kit

316

17" R97

17" R104

17" R108

17" R111

17" R112

17" R114

17" R116

17" R117

17" R128

17" R130

18" R113

18" R133

Wheel spacers can be used to provide caliper clearance, but remember that spacers reduce wheel offset by their width.

Bolt Size and TPMS SensorEdit

When purchasing aftermarket wheels the following two production changes need to be considered:

  1. On July 12, 2006 the size of wheel bolts changed from M12x1.5 to M14x1.25. While all OEM wheels have holes large enough for either size wheel bolt, some aftermarket wheels cannot accommodate the larger size.
  2. In August 2007 the Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) for some markets switched from indirect monitoring (using data from the ABS sensors) to direct monitoring (using data from sensors inside the wheels at the base of the valve stem). Not all aftermarket wheels can accommodate the sensors required for the direct tire pressure monitoring.
TPMS Wheel Sensor TPMS Valve Stem

OtherEdit

When selecting wheels, bear in mind that larger diameter wheels mean more expensive tires, and heavier wheels mean more unsprung weight, thus poorer handling.


Tire ConsiderationsEdit

SizeEdit

Tires must have an appropriate size in order to prevent tires from rubbing on the suspension or wheel wells. They should also maintain an overall diameter that is within ±3% of the factory specification. The ±3% variation is recommended for street cars in order to maintain accurate speed data going into the computer, thus keeping odometer and speedometer changes negligible. While a ±3% diameter increase or reduction in tire diameter may sound very limiting, in most cases it allows approximately a ±3/4" diameter change.

Any of the following tire sizes may be appropriate:

Non-Countryman
Tire Size Diameter
195/55-15 23.44in (595.5mm)
205/40-17 23.46in (595.8mm)
215/50-15 23.46in (596.0mm)
215/45-16 23.62in (599.9mm)
195/50-16 23.68in (601.4mm)
185/60-15 23.74in (603.0mm)
215/40-17 23.77in (603.8mm)
205/55-15 23.88in (606.5mm)
215/35-18 23.93in (607.7mm)
175/65-15 23.96in (608.5mm)
225/45-16 23.97in (608.9mm)
205/50-16 24.07in (611.4mm)
225/40-17 24.09in (611.8mm)
225/35-18 24.20in (614.7mm)
195/60-15 24.21in (615.0mm)
205/45-17 24.26in (616.3mm)
215/55-15 24.31in (617.5mm)
195/55-16 24.44in (620.9mm)
205/40-18 24.46in (621.2mm)
215/50-16 24.46in (621.4mm)
185/65-15 24.47in (621.5mm)
215/45-17 24.62in (625.3mm)
Countryman
Tire Size Diameter
195/60-16 25.21in (640.4mm)
205/60-16 25.69in (652.4mm)
205/55-17 25.88in (657.3mm)
225/45-18 25.97in (659.7mm)
225/40-19 26.07in (662.1mm)


NOTES:
  • Standard fitment
  • Fitment dependent on wheel offset and suspension setup
  • Tire availability may be limited in certain sizes

There are performance benefits from wider tires, in that there is more rubber gripping the road. Increasing tire width or increasing wheel diameter means lowering the sidewall of tire. While a shorter sidewall, gives quicker steering response and better lateral stability, it may make for a "harsher" ride and leave wheels more susceptible to damage from encounters with curbs or pot-holes.

Plus sizing tires doesn't mean having to get wider wheels. For example, 205/50 tires fit 16" wheels for non-Countryman models providing the same foot print as the factory 17" wheel/tire package and 0.40" (10.3mm) additional sidewall cushioning.

Speed RatingEdit

  • H minimum for Cooper or One
  • V minimum for JCW or Cooper S

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